I have a few nurses in my family. They had heard me talk about the benefits of wearing compression socks and compression sleeves for quite some time. They had bought some that I had recommended and since then have really seen for themselves all the great things that wearing compression socks and compression sleeves can do to help with their job and life. So I wanted to pass down, what I see are the top 5 reasons for nurses to wear compression socks, hoping it might benefit others as well. 1. HELP RELIEVE TIREDNESS One of the best reasons to wear compression socks is because compression socks are designed to help keep your legs energized throughout the day as you wear them. The increased circulation really helps boost the blood flow to your legs and feet, and can help keep them really feeling less tired. Same is true if you find your legs weary after a 12 hour shift. Simply put them on at the end of the day, and keep them on even as you sleep. I have spoken to many who have gotten home from their job, put on some compression socks, and can start to feel their legs and feet becoming more revitalized. One thing to take note of regarding compression socks, is their compression level. Some have lighter compression, and some have tighter compression. The way to tell how strong the compression is, you have to look at the mmHg (millimeters of Mercury). This unit is used in measuring blood pressure. The Hg is the chemical symbol of Mercury. Light compression is below 20 mmHg, while moderate compression is about 20-25 mmHg. I have found that some like the lighter and some prefer the moderate compression. My personal belief is that moderate compression gives a better feeling of revitalization in your legs and feet. On the down side, the stronger the compression, the harder some people find in putting on the socks. I would also look for socks that have graduated compression. This simple means that the socks apply a certain amount of pressure strongest in your feet and near your ankle, and the compression gets more gradual as they move up the leg. In other words, it gives you support where you need it the most. 2. REDUCES SWELLING If you are on your feet all day as a nurse, or any other profession that keeps you on your feet for extended hours, you know that our legs, ankles, and feet can be subject to swelling. Wearing compression socks has been proven to help prevent the swelling if worn all day, or help to reduce the swelling if worn in the after hours. Of course, compression socks can be worn in both situations, just be sure to keep a fresh pair available to change into regularly. 3. REDUCES SPIDER AND VARICOSE VEINS The nurses in our family tell us how they can easily spend almost all 12 hours of their shift on their feet. Standing for such lengths of time can lead to pooling of blood in the ankles, and also can enlarge the veins in these lower regions. Faithfully wearing compression socks slows down the progress of varicose veins, and can even relieve some of the symptoms of blood pooling. Let's face it, you won't always be wearing scrubs, so it is nice to have the ability to be proud to show off your ankles and legs in the off times by taking care of your legs and feet during the long work shifts. 4. DECREASES THE RISK OF BLOOD CLOTS Because compression socks help promote venous blood flow from the feet all the way back toward your heart, these socks help overcome the effects of gravity. It is much of the same reasons as above, since the blood doesn't pool in your lower legs and ankles, it reduces the risk of blood clots ever forming down there. Making the habit of wearing compression socks daily really helps decrease this risk. 5. STYLE YOUR SCRUBS Ok, so this is the playful reason. Who says you have to wear scrubs and not have any style? There are so many compression socks on the market with great designs, you should have an abundant amount of choices. Yet, this is a fun way to add just something extra to what you wear to work. And your legs will thank you for it. As always stay healthy so you can stay fit! Cheers, Drew
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